How Does Alzheimer’s Care from Visiting Angels McKinney Help Seniors Manage Sundowner’s Syndrome?
At Visiting Angels, our Alzheimer’s care providers have the experience and compassion needed to help seniors in McKinney, Allen, Plano, Frisco and surrounding areas in Collin County, TX manage symptoms of Sundowner’s Syndrome, one of the most common behavioral issues for seniors living with Alzheimer’s
Living with Alzheimer’s disease can be a challenge for the entire family, especially for seniors who live independently at home. According to Mayo Clinic, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and is characterized by memory loss, confusion and disorientation and difficulty communicating, reasoning, and handling complex tasks.
Alzheimer’s disease can cause different symptoms at different times of the day. Sundowner’s Syndrome, which occurs in the evening, can be very difficult to manage. Visiting Angels McKinney can help. Our Alzheimer’s care services include behavior modification to help manage Sundowner’s Syndrome.
What is Sundowner’s Syndrome?
Sundowner’s Syndrome is also known as sundown syndrome or sundowning. It is a change in behavior, temperament or personality that occurs in the late afternoon or early evening. According to WebMD, one out of five people with Alzheimer’s disease suffers from Sundowner’s Syndrome.
Doctors are unsure what causes sundowning behavior. They suspect it could be caused by sensory stimulation overload, a hormone imbalance which affects the sleep-wake cycle, anxiety or fatigue.
Common behaviors and emotions that may arise during an episode of sundowning include:
- Agitation, restlessness
- Delusions, hallucinations
- Hiding things
- Yelling, screaming or crying
- Wandering or pacing
These behaviors can become progressively worse and range from a short time to the entire night.
How Can Visiting Angels McKinney Help My Loved One?
As one of the leading providers of in-home Alzheimer’s care in Collin County, Visiting Angels McKinney can help your loved one manage symptoms of Sundowner’s Syndrome while continuing to live at home. Our caregivers understand that flexibility and empathy are essential to help seniors living with Alzheimer’s feel at ease.
Our Alzheimer’s care providers offer these strategies to restore peace and calm:
- Notice triggers. What events or activities cause their behavior to change? Does the evening news agitate your loved one? Is the late afternoon busy with activity in your home? Interruptions to the daily routine and nutrition can cause poor behavior. Our home care providers can help your loved one stick to routines, as well as limit caffeine, sugar and alcohol by planning and preparing nutritious meals and snacks.
- Use distractions. Our caregivers can help your loved one enjoy activities, music or television to keep them calm. Diverting their attention from troubling thoughts and comforting them with the familiar things they love can help them feel less agitated or anxious during the evening.
- Increase lighting. In addition to natural light, the use of bright lights in the room will reduce evening shadows and maintain the daytime glow until it is time for bed. Our caregivers can open curtains and turn on lights throughout the house as needed.
- Darken their sleep environment. Making sure their bedroom is welcoming and serene can help your loved one feel calm and collected. Light-blocking curtains can create a cocoon-like setting that encourages a restful night’s sleep.
- Consult their doctor. Our caregivers will keep you informed if your loved one’s symptoms have escalated and may recommend consulting their doctor for additional support. Some doctors recommend anti-anxiety medication, anti-depressants, or over-the-counter vitamin supplements. Use caution; the doctor should confirm there is no interaction with prescribed medications.
It’s important to understand that every senior deals with Alzheimer’s and sundowning differently. That’s why at Visiting Angels McKinney, we customize care plans to meet the unique needs of our clients. When you choose us to be your partner in Alzheimer’s care, you can have peace of mind knowing your loved one will receive the in-home care and support they truly need to help them manage their symptoms while living out their golden years at home.
To learn how Alzheimer’s care services can help your loved one, contact our McKinney, TX office today.